Famous writers in Paris : The City of Lights has been celebrated by the greatest writers for its beauty, its history, its romanticism, but also for the artistic and free lifestyle often associated with those who live there. Have a look on great writers who live in Paris.

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Famous French writers in Paris

Among lots of French writers of the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, we have two monuments : Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal. In addition, we can recommend you :

  • Le Père Goriot from Honoré de Balzac
  • Au Bonheur des Dames from Emile Zola
  • Les Trois Mousquetaires from Alexandre Dumas
  • Madame Bovary from Gustave Flaubert
  • Du côté de chez Swann from Marcel Proust
  • Journal (III) 1939-1944 from Anaïs Nin
  • Gigi from Colette
  • Indiana from George Sand…

Don’t forget to read Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit, Romain Gary’s La Promesse de l’aube and Albert Camus’ l’étranger, Belle du seigneur by Albert Cohen, Le Grand Meaulnes by Alain-Fournier, L’Écume des jours by Boris Vian, Le Horla de Maupassant, Illusions perdues by Balzac, L’Assommoir by Émile Zola, Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan, L’amant by Marguerite Duras, La Princesse de Clèves by Madame La Fayette …

Beautiful writers’ houses in Paris

  • Balzac home to many of the city’s wealthiest residents

The last Parisian home of Honoré de Balzac is in the heart of the Passy ancient village,nearby the Eiffel Tower. He lived there for seven years under the pseudonym “M. de Breugnol” to escape creditors. Imagine Balzac in his office, seated at his favorite little table, just large enough to put down his inkwell and a few sheets, where he composed part of the novels in the series La Comédie humaine.

  • Boris Vian apartment behind the Moulin-Rouge

The author of L’Écume des Jours ended his life in a Parisian apartment in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. It was here that he wrote L’Arrache-cœur, just behind the Moulin-Rouge, in the former artists’ lodges. Jacques Prévert moved to the same address. The two friends shared a common terrace where they organized parties bringing together many celebrities, including Miles Davis, Henri Salvador or Eugène Ionesco.

  • Marcel Aymé apartment in Montmartre

Born in Joigny in the Yonne in 1902, he spent his childhood in the Jura before moving to Paris, and settled in Montmartre in 1930, a district he would never leave until his death in 1967. He lived at 9 ter rue Paul Féval with his wife Marie-Antoinette and wrote most of his work there until 1963, when he moved to 26 rue Norvins. Today n ° 2 of the place bears his name, with the Passe-Muraille statue sculpted by Jean Marais in 1989.

  • Victor Hugo mansion in the Marais

Place des Vosges, the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée houses the former apartment of one of the greatest writers of the 19th century, Victor Hugo, now transformed into a museum. From 1832 to 1848, he lived in the second floor with his wife Adèle Foucher and their four children. In this mansion, in this room, in this office, he wrote most of the time while standing – Hugo imagines and writes some of his major works.

Famous writers in Paris by PARIS BY EMY

Victor Hugo desk in Paris

Contemporary French authors

Literature is a jewel of the French culture. From Balzac to Maupassant via Molière or Camus, it shines all over the world. However, it would be a shame to limit ourself to “classics” only, and not to explore what builds contemporary literature in France. From Modiano to Ernaux via Marc Levy, a quick overview of the French contemporary authors :

  • Annie Ernaux
  • Patrick Modiano
  • Denis Podalydès
  • Jean Echenoz
  • Marie Ndiaye
  • Delphine de Vigan
  • Virginie Despentes
  • Alain Mabanckou
  • Marc Levy
  • Guillaume Musso
  • Fred Vargas
  • Michel Houellebecq
  • Frederic Beigbeder
  • Christine Angot
  • Anne Golon
  • Anna Gavalda…

One of my favorite French writer is Amin Maalouf with his book Samarcande. He is a Lebanese-born French author who has lived in France since 1976. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for Le Rocher de Tanios, and was elected to the Académie française in 2011.

The Famous Poets Writers in Paris

The French capital is an incredible source of inspiration for artists. It is therefore not a surprise that many poets have dedicated one or more poems to the City of Lights. The story of the capital is told through poetry.

  • Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) – Les Fleurs du Mal » (1861)
  • Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) – Le Pont Mirabeau (1912)
  • Louis Aragon (1897-1982) – Paris (1944)
  • Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) – Paris (1893)
  • Alfred de Musset (1810-1857) – Sonnet, Les Contes d’Espagne et d’Italie (1829)
  • Jacques Prévert (1900-1977) – Chanson de la Seine (1951)
  • Paul Eluard (1895-1952) – Courage (1942)
  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885) – Paris bloqué, recueil L’Année terrible (1872)…

Poets have embraced Paris with their verses, each with their own style, classic poems, engaged, avant-garde, but always with  sincere words. If it is not its fiery history that animates poets living in Paris, it is its winding and romantic streets.


« Ô ville, tu feras agenouiller l’histoire.

Saigner est ta beauté, mourir est ta victoire.

Mais non, tu ne meurs pas. […]

Dans l’admiration des peuples, dans la gloire,

Tu retrouves, Paris, bien plus que tu ne perds […] »


” O city, you will bring history to its knees.

Bleeding is your beauty, dying is your victory.

But no, you don’t die. […]

In the admiration of the people, in the glory,

You find, Paris, much more than you lose […] ”


Paris bloqué, recueil L’Année terrible Victor Hugo (1872)

Paris Cafés of Famous Writers

Parisian cafés are characterized by their inviting ambiance, timeless charm, and delectable cuisine. Whether adorned with vintage decor or sleek modern furnishings, each café exudes its own unique personality, attracting a diverse clientele of locals and tourists alike.

Atmosphere and Ambiance

The atmosphere of Parisian cafés is imbued with an air of sophistication and romance. From the soft glow of candlelit tables to the strains of jazz music drifting through the air, these establishments offer a respite from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Culinary Delights

In addition to serving quality coffee and pastries, Parisian cafés are renowned for their culinary offerings, ranging from classic French bistro fare to innovative fusion cuisine. Whether indulging in a traditional croissant or savoring a gourmet meal, patrons are treated to a feast for the senses.

Legacy of Parisian Cafés

Despite the passage of time, Parisian cafés continue to inspire writers, artists, and dreamers from around the world. Their legacy lives on in the pages of literature, the brushstrokes of paintings, and the memories of those who have been touched by their magic.

Inspiration for Writers

For aspiring writers seeking creative inspiration, Parisian cafés offer an ideal sanctuary for reflection and contemplation. The vibrant energy and rich cultural history of these establishments provide fertile ground for literary exploration and artistic expression.

Café de Flore Saint Germain PARIS BY EMY Paris Trip Planner

A Drink with Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir at the café de Flore in Saint Germain

American, English and Irish writers in Paris

Beyond the anecdotes, the drinking binges, the fights, the sentimental crossovers of the intellectuals of the Montparnasse district at that time, we bring to life famous writers in Paris such as Hemingway’s novel Paris est une fête and his friends TS Eliot, James Joyce, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and so much more … during our private tours. If America is hit by prohibition, Paris offers its cafes and bistros. Le Dôme, La Coupole, Le Sélect offer as well a great triangle for all those genius to write and have fun.

  • Paris est une fête from Ernest Hemingway
  • Tropique du Cancer from Henry Miller
  • L’Eventail de Lady Windermere from Oscar Wilde
  • Dans la dèche à Paris et à Londres from George Orwell
  • Souvenirs Indiscrets from Natalie Clifford Barney
  • The Cubical City from Janet Flanner
  • Black Boy from Richard Wright…

Paris is also considered the cradle of European literature, because it has seen great minds grow in its territory. Added to the beauty of the French language, the advanced ideas about society presented by many writers, have made French literature one of the oldest in Europe, but also one of the most important.

Oscar Wilde PARIS BY EMY Paris Trip Planner

Oscar Wilde

Famous Writers Private Tour Guide in Paris

We invite you to discover some famous writers who, for a few years or for the remainder of their days, lived in Paris. Discover the places of famous writers in Paris used to live, to work, to walk around and have dinners through a private tour guide.

PARIS BY EMY offers you tailor made itinerary with hotels recommendations according to your criteria, airport hotel transferprivate tour guide, restaurants recommendations… We create unique custom made tours for each client. Opt for a famous writers in Paris tour.

10 French-language books of the XX century

Here are the top 10 best French-language books of the XX century by a jury of 50 people – journalists, booksellers, librarians, teachers, heads of literary institutions and festivals in French-speaking from Switzerland. This classification takes in consideration only literature written in French.

1. A la recherche du temps perdu (1913-1927), Marcel Proust (30 votes)

2. Voyage au bout de la nuit (1932), Louis-Ferdinand Céline (28)

3. L’Etranger (1942), Albert Camus (23)

4. Alcools (1913), Guillaume Apollinaire (18)

5. Belle du Seigneur (1968), Albert Cohen (17) PARIS BY EMY RECOMMENDATION

6. Mémoires d’Hadrien (1951), Marguerite Yourcenar (17)

7. La Trilogie des jumeaux (1986-1991), Agota Kristof (16)

8. L’Usage du monde (1963), Nicolas Bouvier (13)

9. En attendant Godot (1952), Samuel Beckett (11)

10. Paroles (1945), Jacques Prévert (11)

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